Nakdonggang Estuary Seasonal Bird Migration Site
Favorite thing: The Lower Nakdonggang River Seasonal Bird Migration Site was designated as a natural monument on July 13, 1966, and it has a large river-mouth, sand dunes, delta, Ilungdo Island, Eulsukdo Island and other islands. The snipes and waterfowls stop by when they pass Korea during the fall and spring, and the ducks and geese find their way here in the winter. This area, where the Nakdonggang River and the South Sea meet, has over 150 species of birds, which visit between October and March. You're most likely to see swans, and even raptorial species like eagles and white-tailed eagles. It is a large area with thick groves of reeds, which make it hard to approach by land. In order to watch migratory birds, you should take a boat from Myeongji-dong harbor and get a local guide to help you. The ideal time for bird watching is between 9am and 4pm. Eulsukdo Island is one of the places you absolutely cannot miss. It is a delta island, and is well known as a paradise for over a hundred thousand birds. It is an amazing sight to see some ultra-rare species of birds like the whitenaped cranes, the blackfaced spoonbills, and the white-tailed eagles, as they arrive and spend the winter.
From downtown Busan, take Bus No.58, No.58-1, or No.58-2 and get off at Eulsukdo Rest Area. Walk down or go to Myeongji-dong Port and rent a boat.
Admission Fees :
Local Transportation :
-Subway + Bus(30 minute ride) : At Hadan Station (Busan Subway 1) Exit No.5, take bus No.58, 58-1 or 300 from downtown Busan. Then get off at Eulsukdo Rest Stop and walk for a while.(Buses run every 20 minutes.)
-Taxi : From Gimhae Internation Airport it is 20-minute ride.
- Gangseo-gu County Office General Affairs Office Tel : 051-970-4061-3 (Kor)
- Admission Fee : Free
- Regular Round trip : Approximately a ride every hour from 9am to 4pm. One-way ride: 2,000 won
- Boat Rental Service : 9am- 4pm, About 100,000 won
Try to get help from the locals at the Hagu-eon fishing village or at Myeongji-dong Port.
No Graffiti Anywhere
Favorite thing: I did not see any graffiti anywhere which really surprised me. Even in Seoul, there was none. The only time I saw something I would consider as graffiti was on the wall at one of the metro stations. I'm sure this would be removed by the end of the week.
Favorite thing: As duplicated on my Seoul page....
The Korean language uses 24 characters (or sounds). There are about 5 English consonants they do not have. Some are B, F, & V. But then, in the Korean language they have sounds that cannot be formed with our English consonants and vowels. So, example Jangsan - I would pronounce as jang (like bang, rang, sang, hang) and san (like ban, Dan, ran, tan). But it's actually more like jee-ang or gee-ang and za-eeng. It's very difficult to describe.
What I found helpful was to plan out where we were going and asked our concierge at the hotel to write down our destinations in Korean for us. So, if I needed to come back to our hotel, I had a piece of paper with "Chosun Hotel" (it's not the Westin Chosun) written down in Korean. I wanted to go to the "Haedong Yonggungsa Temple" , I had that written down in Korean.
Favorite thing: The largest double -layered suspension bridge became a landmark of Busan.
Fondest memory: Around the beach, there are unique restaurants, cafes, and over 300 raw fish restaurants. There are famous places near the beach like Subyeon (waterfront) Park, Gwangalli Beach Theme Street and outdoor caf s. You can also enjoy various water sports such as wind surfing, yachting, and scuba diving. The majestic feature of the Gwangan Bridge looks extraordinary especially at night against the beautiful night view of the beach.
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The Bridges of Busan
Favorite thing: Busan is a city of bridges. They are big and specatacular. And when I was there, they were building another one. If you are into architecture and civil engineering, this is the place for you!
The best view is of the illuminated suspension bridge, from Gwangalli beach at night.
- Study Abroad
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Free weekend music
Favorite thing: Every weekend, you can find a free concert in the central hall of the Semyeon subway station. The music varies from week to week; so far, I've seen several rock groups, individual singers, and a few traditional music groups. There is always a crowd, so expect to stand if you want to watch. There are stools set up around the show area, so if you're lucky, you might just snag a seat. Also, if you go during the summer, bring a paper fan. The AC isn't that great, and the station can get pretty hot.
Learn Some Korean
Favorite thing: Korean language is pretty easy to learn...if you take even just 30 minutes to learn a few common words it will make your travel much easier.
What To Learn:
numbers...money and counting
directions...left,right, straight, here
other.....bathroom, please, thank you, water, rice, meat, yes, no
The Busan Aquarium
Favorite thing: Okay, I would have put this in the must see activities, except that aquariums are aquariums no matter where you go. Even so, this was super fun!
The site isn't very big, only 2 floors down, but there's lots of stuff to see. Tropical, freshwater and deep-sea species, they're all here. There are two tanks that are particularly cool. The first is the two-story high fish tank that you can view from either floor. While we were visiting the aquarium, one of the staff was in scuba diving with the fish. She had a mic hooked into her mask, so she could talk to the kids outside. Fantastic! The second great feature is the huge shark tank. There is a curved tunnel that runs through the tank. We had the opportunity to watch a giant sea turtle glide right over top of us. Apparently, the aquarium offers shark dives where you can get into the tank and scuba dive.
We also did the virtual underwater ride. I really don't recommend this at all. Basically, it's a screen and a hydrolic lift stage that jostles you around in time to the film. The jostling is enough to make you want to have an intimate relationship with your chiropractor. It's cheesy, short, and not worth the five bucks you pay for it.
The aquarium is located in Haeundae, right down on the beach. If you take the subway, get off at #203 stop, and head for the beach. The aquarium is right there, next to the lifeguard/police station. Enjoy!
UN Cemetary for the Korean war dead
Favorite thing: I visited the Korean War UN Cemetary in Daeyeon, Busan. It was a very peaceful, somber place, but beautiful nonetheless. The cemetary is home to several hundred soldiers from all over the world who fought in the Korean War. There are several memorials, and also a plaza of flags with the flags of all the nations who fought.
One thing I enjoyed the most about this place is that it is one of the quietist places I have found in Busan. The many trees help damper the sound from the street, and there aren't many visitors. You can walk peacefully through the area and admire the flowers. Paying hommage is easy due to the quiet.
To visit the cemetary, take the subway line 2 to Daeyeon (stop #13). Take the exit for the Busan Museum. Walk towards the Museum and cultural centre, about .7 km. Stay on the left side of the road. You'll see the War Memorial in the large intersection. Head up the hill on the left, and over the traffic tunnel. The cemetary is on the left on the far side of the tunnel.
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